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Eloy - Inside / Floating / Power And The Passion / Dawn CD (album) cover

INSIDE / FLOATING / POWER AND THE PASSION / DAWN

Eloy

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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AtomicCrimsonRush
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Symphonic Team
5 stars This 4 pack Of Eloy's early material is the ideal starting point for anyone interested in this wonderful prog band. Every album is a classic and definitely worthy of any prog collection. Let's look at each album individually. I stole parts from my own reviews of the albums to do this and it was delightful to revisit them.

Eloy's "Inside" captures the invigorating psychedelic sound of the 70s and it is the band at their most mind blowing in terms of lengthy jamming and trippy musicianship. The opening epic that runs out to 17:20 is a mind tripping psych prog blaster that features some mesmirising musical interludes. There is a lengthy instrumental break that is a freak out of shimmering Hammond, spacey lead guitar and frenetic drumming with a ton of time sig shifts. It is wonderful music to immerse your ears in.

'On The Road' is a fast rocking blaster with tons of hammering Hammond and a full on lead guitar freakout. The vocals are reverbed and strangely distant. The organ phrases are terrific and I absolutely love the psychedelia of explosive organ and guitar, making this one of the heaviest Eloy songs ever.

Overall, "Inside" is a fascinating nostalgic trip back to the psychedelic sound of early prog. Eloy are inventive and progressive throughout this earlier album. It may not be as good as the followup "Floating", but this is an improvement on the debut, and is full of some of the trippiest and heaviest music to ever emerge from the Eloy catalogue.

My obsession with Eloy began with "Floating" and I believe it is the best album from the band. An instant masterpiece to my ears. This is psychedelia drenched space rock at its best. The first track I heard from this album is 'Castle in the Air' and it was enough to draw to me to the entire discography of the band. Admittedly, not everything that Eloy puts their hand to is gold, but on this album they had the Midas Touch and could do no wrong as far as I am concerned. I get chills everytime I hear it.

It begins with the stellar funkadelic psych of 'Floating'. A massive crunching Hammond blazes away along a wandering bassline and punctuated percussive beat. Bornemann's guitar chimes in and we are on our way. The vocals are loud and bombastic in the opening section and then it switches time sig to a very fast tempo before breaking into a pounding drum beat.

'The Light From Deep Darkness' opens with a serene guitar phrase and Frank Bornemann's inimitable vocals. Suddenly a loud staccato blast of organ and guitar with dollops of drums and bass begins to resound. A time sig locks in dominated by power organ and then a wonderful keyboard solo by Manfred Wieczorke. The bass of Luitjen Jansen is effective pulsating out a rhythm and those drum accents of Fritz Randow are compelling. It sounds like vintage Uriah Heep and Deep Purple in places, only very distinct as only Eloy can be.

'Castle In The Air' is my favourite Eloy track and this is due to Bornemann's incredible guitar riffs and the way it locks into some hypnotic rhythms and allows a myriad of keyboard and guitar solos to unleash a barrage of psychedelic space rock paradise.

The track includes spoken narration, a trademark of many Eloy albums, and some dynamic trade offs between organ and guitar. The bassline is astonishing on this and in fact all musicianship is virtuoso so I can never tire of this. An absolute masterpiece song on every level.

Overall, this is one of the greatest albums of 1974 in a strong year for prog. Every track is compelling wonderful virtuoso musicianship and there is never a dull moment. A definitive masterpiece, "Floating" is one of the best albums I have discovered over recent years and my collection would be impoverished without it.

"Power and the Passion" is another concept album for Eloy that surfaced at the peak of prog rock's domination in the mid 70s. The concept is as usual highly based on searching for an answer and travelling to a mystical land or the future to finds the answers, via a drug induced hallucinatory experience. It begins with 'Introduction' that is a cathedral organ instrumental and this flows seamlessly into 'Journey into 1358'. This begins softly and then the tempo speeds up with fast paced organ phrases and Bornemann singing over a driving drum and bass rhythm.

The next movement of this suite of songs is 'Love over Six Centuries' with acoustics and gentle vocals. The track is 10 minutes and flows in a variety of directions; a bassline locks into a groove as a synth solos over. The staccato Hammond blasts at 2:40 are sensational with fuzz guitar riffs. The next part in the journey is 'Mutiny', another lengthy track of 9 minutes, with layers of synth. It builds with marching percussion and wonderful organ phrases along some haunting melodies. The music is powerful, sweeping and emotional, augmented by the lead guitar break. The pace shifts into a fast shuffling rhythm and some impressive keyboards and a jangling guitar. The vocals return to continue the estranged story.

'Thoughts of Home' begins with Clavinet and a gentle vocal expresses that he will delve into magic to find his way home. This leads into the blistering guitar and Hammond crunches of 'The Zany Magician'. A role play of a nasty magic man ensues with an echoed manic delivery; "You'll forget where you've been, Forget what you've seen, You won't feel a thing, you just, Drink it all down, your heart will pound, See you around." So the protagonist is under the spell and we move onto "Back into the Present". The swirling syths and spacey effects represent the journey home, then a bright rock song strikes up.

The concept may come across as convoluted in places, but Eloy make it work somehow such is the conviction of their sprawling vision. It all seems to makes sense and the major source of joy of this album is the way it seamlessly flows from one idea to the next. This is Eloy at their most innovative and it would not be the last time they would venture into high concept as "Dawn" follows, with an even more complex story.

A crash of thunder, rain and storm clouds of orchestra strings opens up the magnificent "Dawn" by Eloy. Bornemann's familiar vocals soon come in and a beautiful acoustic flourish on 'Awakening'. The concept album was a huge drawcard to album listeners in the 70s and Eloy always delivered some of the best conceptual masterworks. The music with lengthy jamming instrumental was always designed for the conceptual link between songs and Eloy delighted listeners with lengthy complex compositions and reflective lyrics.

"Dawn" is a complex album with some huge ideas put to very impressive musical themes. The tracks run together almost seamlessly as one and there are multi movement suites that encompass several songs such as 'Between The Times' in 3 sections with a variety of styles and time signatures, with inventive musical breaks. These moments are definitely highlights and at times the music is uplifting and very emotionally charged such as the beautiful melancholia of 'The Sun Song.' The stirring majestic orchestral score at the end of this track is stunning.

The majesty continues on 'The Dance in Doubt and Fear', with organic keyboards that glide over a strong percussive hook and pulsing bassline. Bornemann narrates the ideas and the music is allowed to flow along on beautiful key pads. The music soars to the stratosphere and is perhaps some of the loveliest musicianship from Eloy.

'LOST!?' in 2 parts is next beginning with 'Introduction', made up of deep chanting and synthlines. The second section is 'The Decision' beginning with cathedral organ in the vein of Sky's 'Toccata'. The currents of guitar lines flow on a river of synthesizer. It slowly ebbs meandering until Hammond and bass crash in. This is mesmirising music and it builds so gradually until Bornemann's vocals return like an old friend. The wall of synth is so effervescent and ethereal, and at the end a howling wind emanates.

'The Midnight-fight/ the Victory of Mental Force', an 8 minute prog feast, begins with a fast vocal delivery and an off beat bass heartbeat. The fast tempo drums are outstanding and later there are powerful string eruptions to augment the atmosphere of a battle in the heavenlies.

'Gliding into Light and Knowledge' opens with weird bird calls and an acoustic layer. The ambience is joined with an accordion sound along a rhythmical meter.

The album ends on a majestic uplifting note as if dawn is closing in and the world is again at peace. The album has been a breathtaking momentous work of innovation.

These early Eloy albums are a stunning achievement; conceptually masterful with some of the most incredible musicianship of the mid 70s when prog was flourishing. The albums stand out as landmarks for Eloy. These are symphonic works of beauty, they are diamond studded jewels in the treasure chest of progressive milestones.

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Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2017 | Review Permalink

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